Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Berry Yogurt Muffins

I was doing my usual blog browsing last week and stumbled upon a recipe for Blueberry Muffins from The Brown Eyed Baker.  Well, I didn’t have a hankering for muffins before I saw this recipe and the mouth-watering pics but I certainly developed a craving afterwards!  It just so happened that I had some berries in the fridge (gotta love superfoods) that were on their last legs (still edible, just not amazing on their own).  Yup, this was happening.

I enjoy baking but it’s not something I do on a regular basis.  It’s challenging enough coming up with the ideas and finding the time to make dinners- who has the energy to bake?  Luckily, I had some spare time so I decided to take advantage of that.  When I get around to baking, since it’s not so often, I usually stick to the recipe and employ the “everything in moderation” rule.  In general, I abstain from sugar cookies because I have a hard time being directly responsible for 2 sticks of butter going into one dessert.  This muffin recipe was relatively healthy as far as desserts go but I felt there was still room for improvement. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Shakshuka Breakfast Burrito: Recipe Redux

Traditionally, shakshuka is a Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in an aromatic spicy tomato sauce.  I had the privilege of trying shakshuka for the first time last year at my good friends Mordy and Tiffany.  Before then, I didn’t know much about it and never bothered trying it.  Oh my goodness!  I was seriously missing out and now I have to make up for all these shakshuka-less years.  Tomatoes and eggs are really great together.  The acidity of the tomato plus the savory poached eggs all mixed together with aromatic spices is divine.  No wonder Shakshuka in Hebrew means “All mixed up.” 

For January’s Recipe Redux, the theme is “Fresh Starts” and there’s no better way to start off the day than with a healthy breakfast makeover.  When I think of calorie and fat-laden breakfasts, my mind goes straight to breakfast burritos.  Usually filled with hash browns, cheese, and eggs, the breakfast burrito can definitely use a face-lift. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gnu Bar Giveaway Winner

And the winner is...Jennifer H. - Check your inbox for more details!  Thank you to everyone who entered.  I really appreciate all of your support.  Look forward to my next giveaway sometime next month.  There will be FOUR winners next time!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gnu bar review + Giveaway!


My friends over at Gnu foods have sent me a sampler box = 14 bars with 7 flavor varieties!  After trying a tiny nibble from each, I decided to share the rest.  Keep reading to find out how you can score your own variety pack of 7 gnu bars!

Gnu bars are known for combining "flavor and fiber at last" and I couldn't agree more.  With 7 different flavors to choose from, you're bound to fall in love with several of the flavors.  My favorite is peanut butter.  It tastes just like a chewy peanut butter granola bar- yum!  The other flavors are banana walnut, chocolate brownie, cinnamon raisin, espresso chip, lemon ginger, and orange cranberry (second place favorite).

Monday, January 9, 2012

All About Fiber

Fiber is important in a balanced diet because it helps keep us “regular”, may help prevent certain diseases (Diabetes, Heart, Cancer), and can aid in weight management by keeping us full longer.  For individuals with gastrointestinal issues (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Diverticulitis), fiber can help prevent flare-ups and control undesirable symptoms. 

Adults need a lot more fiber a day than most are getting.  Here are some guidelines:
  • Men, 50 years old and younger= 38 g/day
  • Men, 51 years old and older=30 g/day
  • Women, 50 years old and younger= 25 g/day
  • Women, 50 years old and older= 21 g/day
The general rule for children aged 3-18 years old is to add “5” to their age in years. For example, a 5 year old needs 10 g/day of fiber.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sports Nutrition: Eating and Exercise (Part 2)

We established in Sports Nutrition Part 1 that healthy living is a 2-sided coin.  Part 1 discussed exercise tips so Part 2 will focus on eating in regards to exercise.  Fueling your body is essential for a successful workout.  When you start exercising, your body pulls energy from the carbs stored in your muscles and liver (glycogen) before it starts breaking down fat stores.  If you want to burn more fat, you have to do endurance exercise like jogging.  Depending on the intensity of your workout, you can exercise for shorter or longer to burn more calories.  

What to eat prior to exercising:
You don’t want to eat immediately before you work out as this can cause cramping or nausea but you definitely want to have a nourished body.  For some morning gym-goers, a drink of water is adequate prior to working out since your body is using stored energy from last night’s dinner anyways.  If you feel very hungry, than definitely eat a small carb-rich snack at least 30 minutes before.  If you exercise later in day, try to eat a large meal 3-4 hours before exercising or a smaller snack 1-2 hours beforehand.  

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